Research paper Submitted to

Research paper
Submitted to: Sir Shehzad GafoorSection: B
Submitted by: Saad Sami (FA15-BBA-003)
Sarah Tahir (FA15-BBA-078)
Moeez Rashid (FA15-BBA-098)
Areesha Shakeel (FA15-BBA-102)
Manan Farooqi (FA15-BBA-126)
Facilitating expatriates spouse for cross cultural adjustment
The purpose of this study is to illustrate the importance of expatriates from Pakistani organizations on foreign assignment by critically analyzing the problem for the failure of their adjustment which is their spouse. Then it reveals how expatriates spouse and family along with other factors force them to return to their home country without completing their assignment. In the end it also provides a few ways of how to facilitate future expatriates and their spouse, so they can have a better chance at adjustment .A qualitative methodology was adopted for the research purpose. Three expatriates were interviewed along with their spouses, unstructured questions were asked to find out whether or not spouse adjustment has a positive effect on expatriate’s adjustment and assignment .After analyzing the data, This study provided strong evidence to suggest that an expatriates cross culture adjustment is directly linked with the adjustment of his spouse and family
Expatriates of Pakistan are people who are living outside of Pakistan. These include citizens that have migrated to another country as well as people born abroad of Pakistani descent. According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, approximately 7.6 people are living abroad. It has been seen the growing interest in International Human Resource Management because of the increasing level of multinational enterprises. Effective Human Resource Management is the part of success in International Business which is cause of growing (Shen, 2004). There has been a lot of research done regarding the case of expatriates but It appears to be, in any case, that a considerable lot of these articles talk about the improvement of worldwide superiors just as they were isolated people without mates, families, or companions Harvey 1985.

Whenever an individual is required to adjust anywhere may it be domestic or international transfers it takes that individual time to settle and adjust into his new role and the more time he takes the more money and resources is utilized of the company. The more time they take to adjust the more cost the company bears and if they fail to adjust that’s more cost for the company (Pinder and Das 1979). It has been studied that many expatriates aren’t able to adjust and return home permanently.

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For expatriates success, cross cultural adjustment is important. By giving adequate trading and training of behavior and norms of host country, cross cultural adjustment can be enriched. Language teaching can also ease communication with host country people. Research show that expatriate failure rate is high and reason of the failure was cross cultural adjustment. Increased internationalization in social political and social arenas has led to greater interpersonal contact. Late research has shown that mates are a main consideration in the achievement or disappointment of ignores Harris and Moran 1989; Harvey 1985; Tung 1981. Black 1988; Black and Stephens 1989 has discovered a noteworthy and positive connection amongst spouse and expatriate adjustment. Still the inquiry remains, what factors influence mate culturally diverse alteration?
Scholars have argued that the adjustment of the expatriate’s spouse is an important factor in the success or failure of expatriates in overseas assignments; however, they have not empirically examined. Firms seeking the spouse’s opinion about the international assignment, the spouse’s self-initiated pre departure training, and social support from family and host country nationals during the overseas assignment have a positive relationship with spouse interaction adjustment. So it’s important to determine whether or not it’s just an excuse that managers use or a misconception thought by many people or whether spouse adjustment influences the return of expatriate employees. Thus the purpose of this study is to further expand and contribute to the previous work done on all the potential factors that may in some way influence an expatriate’s adjustment in overseas assignment. The main focus of this study is to examine the relationship of factors that influence spouse adjustment and the expatriate employee adjustment. The experience of expatriate could be trouble and demanding for everybody involving the expatriate spouse or partner. Most studies appear to agree that the expatriate experience (df. Caligiuri, Hyland, Joshi, and Bross, 1988; Mohr and Klein, 2004; Van der Zee, Ali, and Salmoe, 2005). It has a negative impact on the business expatriate which leads towards the powerful outcome (cf. Bhaskar-Shrinivas, Harrison, Shaffer, and Luk, 2005; Hechanova, Beehr, and Christiansen, 2003). It has been seen that married expatriates are better than their single colleagues (cf, Thomas, 1998). Males expatriates and female expatriates act differently in an international assignment and female are getting more support than male ones (Selmer and Leung, 2003a, b). Female’s expatriates could be negative and positive. Females has gain little attention in expatriates (Haslberger and Brewster, 2008). There would be a balance view of the male and female expatriates and their female partners may have positive and negative influences (cf. Grzywacz, Carlson, Kacmar, and Wayne, 2007; Takeuchi, Yun, and Tesluk, 2002).

H1: Poorer housing situations in the host country will be have a negative effect on the expatriate and his adjustment
Some non-work factors such as family considerations influence intention to leave (Baysinger and Mobley, 1983). If family conditions are going good then it will have a positive effect on the job and high intention to stay on the job. The adjustment of the spouse will be positively related to the expatriate’s intention to stay in the overseas assignment. Recent research indicates us that spouses are the major reason of success or failure of expatriates. Research is done to examine the factors that are related to spouse cross cultural adjustment. Increase in the competition of the MNC’s and other firms, sending more expatriates to train and giving them knowledge for future aspects. But most MNC’s have not been successful in selection, support and retention of effective expatriates.Moving into a totally new environment creates a significant level of uncertainty and people need to reduce that uncertainty to a more tolerable level. Black and Stephens found that the expatriates consist of adjustment to the job, adjustment to interacting with host nationals and adjustment to the general non-work environment. They also found that the spouses can adjust when interacting with host nationals and new environment. When the expatriates returns they have to adjust according to their home culture and new job in their country. It has been seen that the adjustment in the home country is relatively easy as compared to the host country. But Adler claims opposite to it. Previous international experience will be useful for cross-cultural adjustments for the spouse. If people had visited that country before, they would already know what kind of culture, behavior is accepted there, and they would not take time to get settled. And this would reduce uncertainties as compared to your first visit. A person’s motivation for cross cultural adjustment is an important variable because the greater the motivation of an individual to shift towards new culture, the greater efforts he would put in for the adjustment.
H2: Pre departure training for the expatriate and their spouse will be positively affect their stay in the host country.

The firm sending expatriates should seek spouse’s opinion to make their decisions successful that whether he/she is willing for the transition or not. Other important factor is pre departure training that would guide them with the culture of the host country and information about how to interact with people of that country. For expatriate’s spouse, they should also be given training for the firm of expatriate or they should study on their own. One more factor that helps in the new culture learning that is expatriates should not be assigned tasks as they reach the host country, at the start they would learn the appropriate behaviors through trial and errors. Host country nationals would play an important role here because they might help in the adjustment of the expatriates and their spouse as they know the culture and can provide several information about the culture, and can provide them with feedback of their behavior, this could reduce uncertainty. Though it takes time to develop a social network. Living conditions are also an important determinant in cross cultural adjustment. Most spouse do not work in overseas assignment, they usually tend to work in the home or home related activities. Inadequate or different living conditions would create problem for cross cultural adjustment.

Literature Review:
How can firms increase the success rate of expatriate assignment? Many companies are sending their expatriates to other countries to manage their foreign operations due the globalization. Expatriates signify a better competitive advantage for international corporations. But expatriates are very expensive for the companies and if they fail it is both costly for the company as well as the expatriate (Talya N. Bauer, Portland State University ,Sully Taylor, Portland State University).When individuals enter in new environment they don’t know the culture, values, norms of that particular environment and they don’t know what is acceptable here and what is not. Adjustment process enables the individuals to reduce the uncertainty. Expatriate turnover is not similar to the general employee because general employee turnover gives useful understanding. About 30 years ago the general employee turnover has no fewer than 100 empirical studies (Mowday, porter and steers, 1985). And over 14 reviews (e.g., Baysingers and Mobley, 1983; March and Simon, 1958); Muchinsky and Tuttle, 1979; porter and steers, 1973; Price 1977; Steers and Mowcday, 1981). It has been seen through these works that organizational commitment and job satisfaction were negatively related to the turnover therefore turnover was the greatest predictor with the actual turnover (Lee and Mowday 1987). It is claimed that individual wants to reduce the negative responses and maintain positive. If one experience a negative job then leaving a job is the negative response towards it. The adjustment of the expatriate manager will be positively related to intention to leave. Due to the organizational commitment and job satisfaction there would be positive intention to leave.

It has been seen that 20-50% of expatriates resign within two years and return back (Bossard and Peterson, 2005; Stroh, Gregersen and Black, 1998). The main problem with the MNCs is that it only focuses on the one person rather than couples, partners in career decisions (Van der Velde, Bossink, and Jansen, 2005). It is reported that women are more reluctant to go abroad than men due to the dual careers and family issues (Tharenou. 2008). As family is the most important factors because it is contributing in the expatriate success but it is hard to understand this concept because international assignments affect the family as a whole (Brown, 2008).

There is a positive outcome of the work-family interface because it is useful to better understand the female spouses. They do effort to support their expatriate husband’s careers (cf. Bolino, 2007; Bossard and Peterson, 2005; Stahl et. 2002). There are some theories on the social capital and social networks (Adler and Kwon, 2002; Ma kela, 2007). These may be useful in understanding of the interaction between the expatriate members and external relations to visitors from the parent company (Wang, 2002). A family and work roles together may create stress so traditionally it has negative effects because it influence from one person to another (Piotrkowsky, 1979) (cf. Barnett, 1988; Greenhaus and Parasuraman, 1999; Haas, 1999). International assignments are critical for the career success (cf. Fisher, 2005; Lublin, 1996; Martin, 2004). The link between the international experience and long-term career success remains unclear (cf. Bolinno, 2007; Stahl et al., 2002; Stroh, Black, Mendenhall, and Gregersen, 2005).

First being that most of the spouse are not considered during the selection of the expatriate candidates. (Miller, 1973: Tung, 1981: Harvey, 1985) Another reason being they don’t receive any training before their departure. Most of the MNCs don’t offer the spouse any cross cultural training before their departure to a foreign country. And then due to the lack of knowledge and training they aren’t able to adjust, studies have shown that this cross cultural training is important and it simplifies the cross cultural adjustment for the expatriates. Very few MNCs provide this training some of which include IBM, Ford, HP and a few others. Plus these oversea assignments disturb the career of many spouses that in the long run leads to dissatisfaction and have a negative impact on the satisfaction of the expatriates (Stephens & Black, 1988; Torbiron, 1982). Gullahorn and Gullahorn argued that cross-culture adjustment process leads to the u-shaped curve of adjustment, bottom of the curve is the strongest point of culture shock in it. Returning managers often lack a current understanding of the home country and the process of reducing uncertainty is component of repatriation adjustment. Basically the u-curve described terms of three stages of adjustment. The first stage is known as honeymoon stage. In this stage, things are considered as interesting and exciting. The environment is new for the individuals in this stage. The time duration of this stage is two months ( Adler 1981 , Gullahorn & Gullahorn 1963 , Harris and Moran 1989 , Torbiorn 1982 . In second stage the individuals have to face the frustration and anxiety, which indicates cultural shock ( Adler 1986 , Brislin 1981 , Church 1982 ). .And the third stage is known as the adaption stage, in which individuals understand the environment, values, norms and the culture. Scholars estimates that this whole process takes a time of at least one year to complete.
Mendenhall also presented a curve of cross cultural adjustment the model had the first two mentioned stages are quite same but in Mendenhall’s model the third stage is known as Adjustment stage: as the time passes expatriate they get used to the environment and feel comfortable they develop certain habits and fall into the recovery phase. They develop a positive outlook by becoming less critical about the host culture (cultural adjustment 2008). The fourth and the final stage of this model is known as Mastery: In this stage the expatriate feels more comfortable with the environment of the host culture and they develop a ability to function in the new culture ( Mendenhall et al 1995).

Recent work on cross-culture adjustment suggests that the individuals can make both actual and anticipatory behavioral changes. Thus, some factors play their role in actual adjustment and some play their in anticipatory adjustment ( Adler 1986 , Copeland ; Griggs 1985 , Harris ; Moran 1989 ).. It is important to examine the factors that can influence the adjustment of the expatriate and their spouse. In the cross cultural adjustment both the work and non-work factors can be significant to adjustment ( Church 1982 , Mendenhall ; Oddou 1985 , Stening 1979.

Culture novelty is an important factor too as the more the culture novelty the more uncertainty or difficulty people would face in cross culture adjustment. Factor’s that increase job uncertainty that can be either role conflict and role innovation can prevent adjustment while factors that reduce this job uncertainty they help facilitate the adjustment process. Additional factors such as willingness to work hard and communicate and tolerance for uncertainty help an expatriate to adjust in a foreign culture. A persons past international experience can also play a major role in helping them adjust, if they previously had a positive experience they will be able to adjust otherwise not. (Black, 1988; Church, 1982; and Mendenhall& Oddou, 1985) An expatriate’s adjustment is more difficult when the new culture is quite different and unusual for them. The American MNCs say that the inability of the spouses to adjust results in higher probability of them returning early (Tung, 1981). Recent study has been carried out by Suutari and Brewster (1998). In which it was shown the major areas of adjustment problems proposed in a model by (Black et al. 1991). Social interaction has been proven to be very difficult for them due to the inadequate language skills other family problems included the schooling of children and the health care problems. Future research revealed those expatriates who had children were not able to make friends and adjust according to the environment leading to additional problems
The literature suggests that the spouse adjustment is a Probable Impact on the adjustment of the expatriate. Evidence has suggested that the expatriate can adjust while communicating with the host nationals and they automatically adjust when they get busy in their tasks and work responsibilities but since most of the spouses don’t work during their stay overseas they don’t experience any similar adjustment or interaction (Black ; Stephen 1988)Consequently we can understand that it is important to examine the relationship of the spouse’s interaction and adjustment along with the expatriates work, interaction and adjustment. Because adjustments takes a lot of time and all these relationships should be examined properly (Church, 1982; Stening, 1979). In recent years, companies have improved the cross-cultural training offered to expatriates. But The Spouse who went with these expatriates was given less such trainings. This is the major reason why the expatriates come back. This lack of attention is the possible reason why it is difficult for the spouse to adjust their (Talya N. Bauer, Portland State University,Sully Taylor, Portland State University)
We can conclude the whole study by saying that the expatriates and the spouses adjustment is directly related to each other during return adjustment and the cross-cultural adjustment. And the factors which were discussed are very important in order to facilitate the expatriates and spouses in host country. Firms should take care of these and have to provide every possible ease to the expatriates and spouses so that the chances of uncertainty can be reduced.

Conceptual Model
33337502018665Expatriates Children
00Expatriates Children
20764501990090Social Culture
00Social Culture
24860248566150024574508661398763011951990Cultural Adjustment
0Cultural Adjustment
1638300856615001143000237491Expatriate Spouse Adjustment
0Expatriate Spouse Adjustment

Expatriate spouse adjustment is the independent variable of this research and cultural adjustment, social culture and expatriates children are the dependent variables.

This research paper is using the qualitative method by setting a number of open ended questions in the unstructured interview, for our research we interviewed three expatriates who have experienced this cross cultural adjustment. The expatriates we interviewed were all accompanied by their families during their foreign assignments in the UK. They all state that its very puzzling to adjust with our families and as family always comes first they are a huge driving force to whether or not they want to stay abroad or go back home. One of the expatriate he said in the start it was extremely challenging to adjust abroad with my spouse as in the start I was working late and travelling a lot while she was alone at home, which lead to various tensions. As the barrier of language, norms and beliefs is very strong adapting to the new environment is difficult and time consuming. Another expatriate that we interviewed said with my family it was very hard to adjust because we were all alone and they no longer had the luxury of servants or drivers so initially it was very hard to compromise and adjust. After taking and analyzing the interviews and the previous research, the result came up that the adjustment of the spouse consists of 3 things: how well the spouse builds relationships with host-country nationals, how well the spouse adjusts to local customs and the culture and the extent to which the spouse has a sense of feeling at home in the foreign country. Achieving successful adjustment in all three dimensions depends on whether the spouse can reinvent his or her identity in the new culture. So the overall response we got was that families face several adaption problems which a few families are able to tackle and they decide to stay while the rest of the expatriates they prefer to return home. The expatriates were further asked what advice you could give to future expatriates, they stated that that the future expatriate will need to have high tolerance and be patient as in the start adapting to that change is very tuff. Before going abroad it’s always better to acquire some knowledge about that country to try to understand their culture, norms and ways for doing things and if one isn’t familiar with the language it’s always better to polish them before going. Another point that can help a lot is talking to earlier expatriates and overcoming any concerns that they have, it’s always better to eliminate the stress beforehand. Also if one has the means then make a prior visit to that country or the organization. The expatriate needs to find a balance between his work and his family for the adjustment to be possible
We can conclude this research by saying that the expatriates and the spouses adjustment is directly related to each other during return and the cross-cultural adjustment. And the factors which were discussed are very important in order to facilitate the expatriates and spouses in host country. Firms should take care of these and have to provide every possible ease to the expatriates and spouses so that the chances of uncertainty can be reduced.

This study has some practical implications as well. For example, the points which are discussed can be applied to facilitate the future expatriates and the spouses. This will help them in adjustment in new environment. Also, the role conflict is a big issue for expatriates so the role should be very clear which is provided to the expatriates so that they can perform even better.
The Other Half of the Picture: Antecedents of Spouse Cross-Cultural Adjustment
J. Stewart Black and Hal B. Gregersen ,Journal of International Business Studies ,Vol. 22, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1991), pp. 461-47 Faced by Western Expatriate Managers in Eastern Europe: Evidence provided by Finnish Expatriates in Russia and Estonia Vesa Suutari .Journal of East European Management Studies Vol. 3, No. 3 (1998), pp. 249-267
Published by: Rainer Hampp Verlag .Stable URL:
The Influence of the Spouse on American Expatriate Adjustment and Intent to Stay in Pacific Rim Overseas Assignments. J. Stewart Black and Gregory K. Stephens. Journal of Management 1989 15: 529 . DOI: 10.1177/014920638901500403
When Managing Expatriate Adjustment, Don’t Forget the Spouse .Author(s): Talya N. Bauer and Sully Taylor .Source: The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005), Vol. 15, No. 4, Published by: Academy of Management .Stable URL:
When Yankee Comes Home: Factors Related to Expatriate and Spouse Repatriation Adjustment Author(s): J. Stewart Black and Hal B. Gregersen Source: Journal of International Business Studies,Vol. 22, No. 4 (4th Qtr., 1991), pp. 671-694
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan Journals Stable URL:
International Business Review Volume 19, Issue 1, February 2010, Pages 59-69 ; The supportive expatriate spouse: An ethnographic study of spouse involvement in expatriate careers . Authors Jakob Lauring and Jan Selmer Expatriate’s Cross Cultural Adjustment: A Research on the Expatriate roles, reason of failure and their Training Paperback – January 31, 2012 by Shahzad Ghafoor (Author)


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